It’s definitely understandable if you’ve forgotten or don’t even know what the Galaxy Book S is. Announced back in August 2019 but made available only in January, the laptop is one of if not the only Windows 10 on ARM device that Samsung has ever made. It might be the last one it makes as well if this recent sighting from Samsung’s own website is any indication of its desire to rewrite history and present the Galaxy Book S as an Intel-powered laptop instead.
The Galaxy Book S ran on what was back then a new Snapdragon 8cx, Qualcomm’s latest attempt at producing silicon powerful enough to handle the greater demands of running Windows 10 on an ARM-based platform. While Windows itself may have already been optimized for that, running x86/x64 applications, however, required even more processing power than normal.
It hasn’t caught on and it seems it may never will if OEMs keep dropping such Windows on ARM devices, silently even. The listing found by NotebookCheck shows a Galaxy Book S with the exact same design and specs except for one critical difference. This one runs on a Core i5-L16G7 Lakefield processor that Intel has yet to officially announce.
The change comes as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Windows applications can finally run natively and, in theory, run faster than on the ARM-based original. On the other hand, it’s also rated to have only 17 hours of battery life compared to the 25 hours of the Snapdragon 8cx variant, an expected side effect of using a less energy-efficient Intel processor.
That does raise the question of why anyone would want to buy such a Galaxy Book S anyway. The Windows on ARM proposition, with its built-in 4G LTE and 25-hour battery life, is pretty much the selling point of the device. Without that, it will just be a laptop like any other and may even be more expensive than others with comparable specs.